Blanket IRB approvals for linguistics

April 11, 2012

There’s been some discussion on a colleague’s FB page about blanket IRB approvals for specific departments.  Apparently, Penn State Center for Language Sciences has one that covers all but ERP studies, as do Ohio State, Stanford, UMass, and possibly Santa Cruz.  Do readers know of any others?  Do you think this is a good thing?


Field methods classes

March 16, 2011

This is another IRB question. Some IRBs exempt data collected in a field methods class from review at all; others classify the review as generally expedited. Since data collected in a field methods class can eventually be published, I personally think that field methods classes should go through a review. Also, it is good practice for grad students. Is there a middle way?

Ethical considerations for independent scholars

June 6, 2010

Here’s another issue to think about.  Many linguists, through retirement or lack of employment in the field, are independent scholars without an institutional affiliation but still are actively engaged in research.  We can probably agree that the lack of an institutional affiliation does not absolve us from obtaining informed consent and abiding by the ethics of the profession.  Can we find a principled way of dealing with these issues, or do we just trust the researcher to do the right thing?

Ethical conundrum

May 7, 2010

Here’s an issue I’ve been dealing with in my recent research.   We (my field methods class and I) have been videotaping two native TSL signers who come in for the morning.  We take 2-3 breaks during the taping. We have their permission to tape them and have  signed waivers that say how we can use the data and how they want to be recognized for their contribution to the research.  The question is this: is it ethical to continue taping during the breaks?  It would be a great way to get naturalistic informal conversation, especially between the two signers.  My gut says no, and we have been turning off the video during breaks.  Is there a more principled argument on either side?